View Full Version : Cycling 110G

08-28-2008, 12:50 PM
Hello everyone. I have a new 110G which was filled with new everything, gravel bottom and under gravel filter 12 days ago now. It has had about 20 small, hardy fish in it since day 2 (danios, guppies and cherry barbs). Temp 78F.

On day four I added about 2 cups of brown water from a reputable fish store (they drained one of their filters into a bag for me to aid in bacteria seeding).

All fish are doing great and acting normal. I am probably over feeding them and doing so twice a day. See, I have yet to ever read an ammonia or nitrite level over zero ever. I test every day. I have not been changing the water either as I am hoping to see the ammonia increase a little.

Has this tank somehow not begun cycling yet? Or did I get really lucky and the bio load was handled well by the bacteria that was added and so there was not a spike in toxins?

I should probably get a nitrate reading kit and see what that has to show.

Also, should I bother changing out 10-20% of the water this weekend or leave it until some toxins show?

Thanks much for reading this far!

08-28-2008, 11:16 PM
Are you using just an undergravel filter, or is there another one also? What are you using to test ammonia and nitrite. If you are using strips I would recommend getting a liquid test kit like API master freshwater kit. Which covers ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. Strips are inaccurate.

I would test Nitrate asap, and if you show a reading then I would say you were cycled. You should have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and less than 20 nitrate. As far as a water change goes I would wait until you test your nitrate. If you don't see a reading then I would hold off on it until you do.

08-29-2008, 01:21 AM
Thank you labnjab! I am using the API liquid test kits for Amonia and Nitrites (glass vials and drops). I bought their PH one too but it did not measure high enough to be of use to me - turns out that my tap is somewhere's over 7.6 but I am not planning to mess with it.

I'll grab the API Nitrate kit tomorrow and see what it says. I did not bother getting it yet as I figured I had a month or so to wait.

Only the undergravel filter at the moment. I built this tank into a wall cubby I created and there is no room for over the side type filters. I plan to look into external cannister types though as I built cupboards under the tank and ran electric to them for the pumps.

Been a fun project but I still need to do the finishing work around the cabinets and install bottomless cupboards above the tank for access - currently that part is just wide open.

08-29-2008, 02:25 AM
Can you post pictures of your tank and the cabinet you built and good luck

08-29-2008, 09:48 PM
I got the liquid API Nitrate and high PH test kits this evening. PH is 8.1 or 8.2.

Nitrates tested as zero. . .so after two weeks with twenty fish I have clear water, no ammonia, no nitrites and no nitrates. . .ever.

Everyone is doing great in the tank still.

Am I likely cycled or still waiting on deck?

- I'll post pics once I finish the cabinet face. Right now it is built in but not trimmed. Give me a month or two; I'm slow. :-) Actually, I was in the middle of replacing all of the interior doors and trim when the family went to California so I took the opportunity to remove the dry wall and do the carpentry needed for the tank when there was no wife and kids around. Need to finish more of that job before dealing with the cabinet faces for this. Football season will get er done though as the tank is in the hall by the family room so I can work on it as the Billies take the AFC East. ;-)

08-29-2008, 11:13 PM
Is it planted? Without plants you most assuredly should start showing some ammonia, etc.

08-29-2008, 11:52 PM
Nope. No plants. I even had one dead neon (I put a couple in very early on not knowing what I was doing - they died) which I left in there for a week on the bottom. I think there is still a very small part of the head around somewheres. . .

08-30-2008, 12:26 AM
Without plants and no nitrate reading, I would say you still not completly cycled, or it could be that those few fish in a 110 gallon are not producing enough waste to show up in the test (I ran into this with my 55 goldfish tank when I cycled it with just feeder fish, I didn't really to show great numbers till I added 2 of my larger goldfish).

If it were me, I would slowly start to add a few larger fish, but pay close attention to water readings, and do water changes when you see spikes in ammonia or nitrite. Im thinking that those fish just aren't producing enough of a load for that size tank.

08-30-2008, 01:21 AM
Just re-ran all tests. Nitrites and nitrates are clearly zero. Ammonia may have changed very slightly but not sure. It was a bright yellow everytime but now I *think* that it has a lime-greenish hue - so it maybe somewheres between zero and .25.

I'll let it go a few more days and see what developes.

Thanks everyone!

09-03-2008, 12:52 AM
Now several days later and I am showing an Ammonia reading of somewheres between .25 and .5 (closer to .25 I think though). Nitrites and Nitrates are showing zero and have always shown zero. This is now day 16; I think.

Fish are seeming fine though and I have not done anything to the tank save for feed them flakes twice a day and test the water. Just keep waiting?

I'm thinking of getting more of the brown filter water from the LFS tomorrow and dumping that in to maybe help the bacteria along. Perhaps the first time was too soon and they had nothing to feed on then.

09-03-2008, 01:00 AM
On day four I added about 2 cups of brown water from a reputable fish store QUOTE]

water has no benficial bacteria they colonize on hard surfaces in the tank and mostly in the filter media, adding water from your lfs might introduce something like ick in too your tank

09-03-2008, 01:03 AM
The water really wont help any as it doesn't really have much bacteria . I would just sit and wait, and start doing test every other day instead of every day, until you start showing nitrite of nitrate. That way you save your chemicals.
Sometimes it takes several weeks, and some times shorter. I actually never showed any nitrites on any of my tanks, but as soon as I saw some nitrates I added a few more fish. What would really help is if you could get some used gravel or filter media. its a patience thing, but it pays off in the end.

09-03-2008, 01:07 AM
Well, this water was from the filter media - he squeezed out the filter into a bag for me. No bacteria in that?

Either way, I think I need to keep waiting for the ammonia to rise closer to 1.0 before my bacteria will really bloom from what I've read.

Thanks for the advice everyone!

09-03-2008, 01:12 AM
There could be some, but like sushicat said, its mostly on hard surfaces and filter media. I wouldn't risk introducing Ick into the tank either.

09-14-2008, 03:02 PM
Still going. Things are looking to be on the right path still - just going at their own pace.

Nitrites showed up a week or so ago and continue to climb. Ammonia is now down to zero or very near. Nitrites are around 1 now.

Nitrates are just beginning to show - guessing around 2 or 3 at this time - the yellow has a slight tinge to it. Been that way for four or five days now so I'm hoping to see them surge up anytime now and for the nitrites to disappear.

09-16-2008, 02:21 AM
You ll get there soon. In my case, the nitrite goes down only in few days. Sooo quick than I expected.

09-16-2008, 11:29 PM
Done! Nitrates are still only showing around 3 but my nitrites completely disappeared sometime in the last 24 hours. :-) Ammonia holding steady at zero for a week now.

I changed 30 gals out but otherwise this is the same water I started with 3 or 4 weeks ago. Fish are all doing fine.

8 or 10 Otos going in next as I am getting algae. 6 or 8 Panda Cories after that. My daughter wants a koi colored angel so I'll let her get one this weekend. That will be the only large fish in this tank though. Thinking of getting 2 female and a male molly too as they can eat algae strands iirc.

With the oto, angel and cory adds I will have:

5 Leopard danios
5 Flame Tetras
8 cherry barbs
8 otos
8 panda cories
8 fancy guppies
1 koi colored angel
3 dalmation mollies

Prolly wait a week or two and then add a dozen or so each neon and cardinal tetras. Or maybe rasboras in place of one of the tetra species.

I am stoked over here! :-)

09-17-2008, 02:02 AM
Good to hear you're all set!